Pain Management

Dr. Murphy began his medical career as an anesthesiologist. This background is important because there is an overlap between the practice of anesthesiology and pain management. In fact, many pain physicians are also board-certified anesthesiologists.  This training and medical background has given Dr. Murphy a deep understanding of the nature of pain along with a wide array of pain-management tools at his disposal.

The first thing that Dr. Murphy will do is collect a full medical history and a detailed laboratory workup. He will also perform a complete physical examination. Based on all of this information, he will create a personalized pain management plan that takes into account your long-term health and pain management goals.

Works to avoid potentially harmful and addictive medications

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Dr. Murphy believes that opioids and narcotics should be the option of last resort for patients with chronic pain. In order to minimize the need for potentially harmful and addictive pain medications, Dr. Murphy employs a wide variety of pain management modalities including:

  • Hormone therapy
  • Trigger point injection for injury sites and joint locations, such as hips, knees, and wrists
  • Electro-stimulation
  • HcG
  • Anti-inflammatory injections into the shoulders, elbows, carpal tunnels, sacroiliac joints (a commonly overlooked cause of back pain), hips, knees, ankles and feet.

Hormone therapy for pain

One of the reasons that Dr. Murphy is interested in Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy is that research has indicated a relationship between hormones and pain. Studies have shown that hormone levels affect pain levels in the body. Bringing hormones to normal levels may help patients reduce or discontinue their use of narcotic medications.

For instance, in a study performed by Dr. Forrest Tennant, with the Vertact Intractable Pain Clinic, eight patients received Human Growth Hormone for a period of one year. At the conclusion of the study, none of the patients reported any negative side effects. All of the participating patients reported less depression, fewer pain flares and increased mental concentration and energy. Five of the eight patients reported experiencing pain-free hours. Additionally, seven of the eight patients were able to reduce their opioid intake by 30 to 50 percent. All of the patients wanted to continue their HCG therapy at the conclusion of the study. It is also worth noting that all of the patients in the study were adults who had intractable pain that had lasted for at least a five-year period and required opioids.

Trigger-point injections

A trigger point is a knot of muscle that does not relax. Patients with trigger points may experience painless distortion of posture and limited movement or agonizing, intolerable pain. A trigger point is considered ‘active’ if the person feels pain, numbness or other sensations. It is considered ‘inactive’ if no pain is felt, but the patient is experiencing weakness or reduced range-of-motion.

Trigger points can be treated with an injection, which renders the trigger point inactive. In many cases, a short course of treatment will result in a significant period of relief from pain and other symptoms. A trigger point injection will contain saline or a local anesthetic. The injection might also contain a corticosteroid. Trigger point injections have been used to treat tension headaches and fibromyalgia.

Electro-stimulation

A trigger point is a knot of muscle that does not relax. Patients with trigger points may experience painless distortion of posture and limited movement or agonizing, intolerable pain. A trigger point is considered ‘active’ if the person feels pain, numbness or other sensations. It is considered ‘inactive’ if no pain is felt, but the patient is experiencing weakness or reduced range-of-motion.

Trigger points can be treated with an injection, which renders the trigger point inactive. In many cases, a short course of treatment will result in a significant period of relief from pain and other symptoms. A trigger point injection will contain saline or a local anesthetic. The injection might also contain a corticosteroid. Trigger point injections have been used to treat tension headaches and fibromyalgia.

Who is a good candidate for pain management?

Anyone who is experiencing long-term, intractable pain is a likely candidate for pain management. Patients with inflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and diabetes often suffer from chronic pain and might benefit from ongoing pain management. Individuals with back pain or back injuries also respond well to a pain management program.

If you are suffering from chronic pain, or intolerable pain, please call the office of Carolina Pain and Hormone at 803.548.7300 to schedule a pain-management consultation with Dr. Murphy.